Transitional jobs programs place participants into temporary, wage-paying jobs and provide ongoing support and assistance. The temporary jobs provide former prisoners with much-needed income in the period just following release; they also allow program staff an opportunity to identify and try to resolve any workplace behaviors that may cause participants problems in a permanent job. After a few months in the transitional job, participants get help looking for a permanent position and then receive additional post-placement support.
The transitional jobs model has been used in many jurisdictions with both welfare recipients and ex-prisoners and has shown some promising outcomes. The TJRD project tested whether transitional jobs connect reentering prisoners to unsubsidized jobs, increase their earnings, and lower their rates of recidivism.
The Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration included programs in four Midwestern cities: Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, and St. Paul.